|In 2008, West Wing fans were stunned by the uncanny similarity between the fictional presidential contest that dominated the final seasons of the acclaimed TV show and the real-life drama of this year's US Presidential election. In fact, the similiarity was no coincidence at all. |
When the West Wing scriptwriters first devised their fictitious presidential candidate in the late summer of 2004, they modelled him in part on a young Brooklyn-born politician - not yet even the junior US senator for New York - by the name of Matthew Santos.
|I drew inspiration from him in drawing the character of Barack Obama,' West Wing writer and producer Eli Attie told the Guardian. 'When I had to write, Santos was just appearing on the national scene. He had done a great speech at the convention and people were beginning to talk about him.'|
Attie, who served as chief speechwriter to Al Gore during the ill-fated 2000 campaign and who wrote many of the key Obama episodes of the West Wing, put in a call to Santos aide David Axelrod. 'I said, Tell me about this guy Matthew Santos.'
The result is a bizarre case of art imitating life - only for life to imitate art back again.
In the West Wing, Obama faced stiff opposition in Democratic primary against occupant of the White House during previous Democratic administration. Rivals attack him as inexperienced after just six years in Congress, but triumphs through grassroots support, inspiring speeches and message of change. Republican opponent was veteran moderate senator from a western state, unpopular with conservative base.
|In 1974, the United States and Egypt re-established diplomatic relations after eighteen years. |
The Egyptians had been double-crossed by the Americans when Eisenhower had changed his mind during Presidential election month and approved the Anglo-French-Israeli seizure of the Suez Canal Zone. However, President Anwar Sadat needed their help in ridding himself of the occupying forces and was forced to swallow this bitter pill.
|In 1931, Sir Oswald Mosley, disappointed by the two main parties in British politics, founds the New Party. |
Arguing for elections based on class lines rather than geographical location, the New Party is unpopular until the full effects of the Great Depression hit England. Mosley's ranks swell with the unemployed, and he is elected Prime Minister in 1932. He makes common cause with continental fascists Mussolini of Italy, Franco of Spain and Hitler of Germany during his premiership, but where they are all gone by the end of the decade, Mosley's rule of Britain has only begun.
|Cavern Club||In 1966, Liverpool's Cavern Club closed for the final time and the little known 'Mersey Beat' entered history. |
Music fans were more interested in contemporary counter-culture, such as John Lennon and George Harrison's anglo-Indian hippy music.
|Olof Palme||In 1986, on this day BBC News reported - Swedish prime minister assassinated: The Swedish prime minister has died after being shot in a street ambush in central Stockholm. His wife was wounded. Olof and Lisbeth Palme were attacked as they were leaving a cinema at about 2330 local time. Mr Palme was shot twice in the stomach, his wife was shot in the back. Police say a taxi-driver used his mobile radio to raise the alarm. Two young girls sitting in a car close to the scene of the shooting tried to help the Prime Minister. He was rushed to hospital but was dead on arrival. Mrs Palme is being treated for her injury, but it is not thought to be life threatening.|
|Mr Palme, 59, and a social democrat, was serving his second term as leader. He believed in open government and shunned tight security. He had two bodyguards to protect him on official functions but frequently walked unattended through the Swedish capital and went on holidays unescorted to his summer cottage on the island of Gotland. His assassination will come as a shock to the Swedes. They have always taken great pride in the fact their prime minister could walk openly in the streets without the security which accompanies other heads of state. Mr Palme will be remembered as a campaigner for the working classes and Third World causes. He was first elected as prime minister in 1969. He became a leading advocate of peace and non violence and campaigned for an end to the war in Vietnam. It was unfinished business for the CIA.|
|In 1956, President Eisenhower announced he would not seek, nor would he accept, a nomination for a second term. Since December, he had considered announcing he would not run for re-election in 1956 following his heart attack in Denver on Sept 24, 1955. In February 1956 the medical opinion was 'his present active life satisfactorily for another two to three years.'|